Hoffman Estates, Illinois, June 26, 2010 – USA downed Finland on Saturday, 3-1 (25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23) in their second match of the FIVB World League Intercontinental Round of the weekend, gaining revenge over the side that beat them yesterday.
USA take their win-loss record to 5-3 in Pool C while Finland, ranked No. 30 in the world, remains in third place at 2-6. The United States will travel to Cairo, Egypt for its next two matches on July 2 and 3 while Finland host Russia.
A night after losing to Finland in five sets, the U.S. got strong play from some of its younger players including outside hitter Matt Anderson with 13 points, and middle blocker Russell Holmes with 12. But veteran Clay Stanley led the U.S. with 19 points on 15 kills, one block and three aces.
Finland was paced for a second night by Urpo Sivula with 22 points on 22 kills and Antti Siltala with 15 points on 11 kills, three blocks and one ace.
USA finished with 12 blocks to Finland’s 10 and eight aces to Finland’s seven. But the U.S. passing was much improved while Finland struggled at times with the U.S. attack.
In the fourth set, Finland took an 8-5 lead at the first TTO. USA scored on a block and kill from Stanley, a BIC from Anderson and a Lee kill. But Finland kept the pressure on with kills from Sivula and Lehtonen and an ace by Tervapotti. After the break, Finland served long and USA tied the score on an Anderson tip and Stanley kill. Finland came back with a Lehtonen kill and the two teams traded points in a run that included U.S. kills by Holmes, Lee, and two from Stanley along with a Hansen block and Holmes block that gave the visitors a 16-15 lead at the second TTO. Finland got three strikes from Sivula and one from Oivnanen. The point trade continued after the break. With Finland leading 19-18, Lee got a kill to tie the score and Stanley followed with an ace to give the U.S. a 20-19 edge. Finland came back with two Sivula kills to lead 21-20. With the score tied at 22-22, a Stanley kill followed by a Holmes block gave the U.S. match point. Finland held off the loss with a Hietanen kill, but Holmes and Anderson combined for a final block to give the U.S. the match.